Naked Genius for Small Business (or not?): Using Twitter's Logo vs Your Own

by Jill Foster on April 27, 2009

Have you seen the Naked Pizza conversation at Techcrunch?

The skinny:
A New Orleans pizza joint called Naked Pizza, known for its healthier approach to preparing the dish, just put up a huge billboard in front of its restaurant.

Sounds like a normal marketing decision right?

Well instead of putting up their business name or logo (or retaining their delivery number on this billboard) they posted the following:

  • a blue birdie logo resonating Twitter graphics and related wallpapers;
  • Twitter’s logo name in the uber popular blue font;
  • and the company’s Twitter handle.

There’s an involved discussion on the Techcrunch post with 90+ comments on the genius (or not…) of this decision, which honestly I’m still plowing through. But some initial thoughts about this post (and decision) have come to mind.

The element of genius:
So there are some hot (hawt!) reasons for this small business to make this judgment call: it’s riding the wave of a ballooning online network, it’s a way to inform customers – current and potential – of their unique style/special deals, and it highly lends itself to a growing, mobile tech culture which Techcrunch points out in an apt way i.e. “I’m at the stop light driving home, pondering quick healthy dinner ideas for family, and bam – was that a special deal I just saw in Naked Pizza’s Twitter feed? Perfect!”

The idea’s got game.

And heck, the whole concept proves interesting enough to ponder in this blog post giving added conversation around their restaurant (those smarty pants).

And this is why the decision still prompted concern:

  • The local, visual branding experience with that billboard is limited to Twitter users.
    Will non-2.0 potential customers driving down this restaurant’s billboard street relate that blue bird to healthy pizza? (image Bird and Pizza by Malingering, Creative Commons). Maybe this isn’t Naked Pizza’s target customer but why dominate that billboard with both the Twitter bird and the Twitter name? Why not put a picture of their pizza (like on their website) along with their Twitter handle? This visual branding decision does not relate to non-Twitter pizza lovers.
  • Be mindful of overlooking Twitter’s utility in creating two-way exchange with customers.
    In the Techcrunch post, the restaurant’s view of Twitter primarily revolved around getting the word out about pizza deals. Agreed, that’s useful yet Twitter’s strength of finding potential partners/customers — and creating two-way exchange — was not addressed. Will this business use Twitter to really listen (vs just using it as a way to find compliments about their menu and post deals)? After giving their feed a cursory look, it does seem their feed reflects some engagement. Yet for the sake of framing Twitter’s community building potential with customers, I wish that strength was featured more by Techcrunch.

What do you think of their decision?

And on that note, when’s lunch?!

More small business resources:

More on small business branding:


Jill Foster serves as editor for Women Grow Business, a Network Solutions blog and community. She co-founded DC Media Makers and in August 2008, covered events at the Democratic National Convention using mobile media. Jill enjoys collaborations in the DC Web Women and Women Who Tech communities and can be reached at Twitter www.twitter.com/jillfoster.

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